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    January 13, 1904

    “History of Government. Two Kinds of Government” The Signs of the Times 30, 2, pp. 3, 4.

    TWO KINDS OF GOVERNMENT

    Man’s Choice is Evil

    THIS earth was formed to be inhabited. When it had been created, God created man upon it and appointed him to have, under God, “dominion” over the beast of the field and the fowl of the air and the fishes of the sea and over every creeping thing that moves upon the earth.SITI January 13, 1904, page 3.1

    The government of man himself was self-government under God, with God, and in God; and he was created thus to remain forever. But he chose to abandon this and to take a course contrary to the will, and outside the design, of God. by this choice he fell under the power of the chief opponent of all government, and the author of anarchy. But to this usurper of the dominion of the earth and man, God said, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” Thus God broke up the absolutism of the dominion of Satan over man; and opened the way for man to return to allegiance to God, and so to true government.SITI January 13, 1904, page 3.2

    Of the first two sons of the first man, one chose the way of true government—self-government according to the will, and within the design, of God; the other chose the way of Satan—the way of lawlessness, the way of anarchy. And in strict accordance with the principle of that way, and in manifestation of the true spirit of the originator of that way, and the hater of the principle of government, he killed his brother.SITI January 13, 1904, page 3.3

    Two Classes.

    Another son was born who chose the way of true government—self-government according to the will and within the design, of God. this man was allowed to live, and he was succeeded by others of his way. The other was succeeded by others of his way. The two classes continued, and so did the controversy between the true and false government upon the earth; between self-government according to the will and within the design of God on the one side; and on the other the dominion of the evil ones in lawlessness resulting in anarchy. The lawless elements multiplied till “the earth was filled with violence.” This anarchy became so universal that to quench it, there were required the waters of the universal Flood. And true government—self-government according to the will and within the design of God in the eight persons who, of all the earth’s inhabitants, recognized it, in the ark which they had prepared—was preserved by the waters of the same Flood that quenched the opposing anarchy. Thus was man preserved alive upon the earth and the race was perpetuated. And so the second time the Creator started man upon the earth, and with him the principle of true government—self-government according to the will and within the design of God. but in spite of the demonstration of the fearful results of taking the other way, it was but a short time before that false way was again chosen; again the two classes were developed; and again the controversy arose and continued between those who on the earth were espoused to true government, and those who were not.SITI January 13, 1904, page 3.4

    Man in Place of God

    This refusal to recognize true government, this refusal of the individual to hold himself subject to the will and within the design of God, not only continued, but continued to increase. Idolatry was substituted for the recognition of God, for “when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.” And in just the degree in which the knowledge of God was disregarded, the absence of true government was manifested, and confusion and lawlessness prevailed. And in the nature of things, amongst the idolatrous ones, the strongest prevailed. And when the strong had prevailed they held the power which in the contest they had gained; and, in the true spirit of the false government, having abandoned self-government according to the will and within the purpose of God, they asserted dominion over others according to their own will, and in furtherance of their own design. And such is the origin of monarchy—the assertion of man in the place of God—upon earth.SITI January 13, 1904, page 3.5

    What Idols Are

    And it is curious as well as important to notice how idolatry aided in this bad development.SITI January 13, 1904, page 3.6

    First, they did know God, but they rejected Him. They chose not to glorify him as God, nor to be thankful, nor even to recognize Him. Then idols were put in His place. But these idols were but the creation of their own perverse imagination. The idols were only the imagining of their own false conceptions, and so were but the representations of themselves. and when they had put these idols in the place of God, the idols being but the representations of themselves, it was perfectly easy and also perfectly natural and logical that they should presently put themselves in the places of the idols, as the agents of the idol and the executors of its will which from the beginning was but their own will cast for the occasion upon the idol.SITI January 13, 1904, page 3.7

    For, strictly and truly speaking, literally the idol was nothing. All that it could possibly be was what its creators and worshipers conceived it to be. This conception was altogether their own. Then, whatever will, character, or purpose, the idol could possibly have was but the will, character, or purpose of the one who made it or worshiped it. And the idol being helpless to execute this will or to manifest either character or purpose, it fell inevitably to the maker or worshiper of the idol, himself to make this manifest. And since the idol had been put in the place of God, and since all that the idol could ever possibly be was simply what its maker and worshiper himself was, this was simply to put the man, the worshiper of the idol, in the place of God. And when apostasy had reached this point, confusion and turbulence had reached the point at which it was only the power of force that could prevail; and the force which prevailed most, maintained its place and power by the assertion of dominion over others according to the will and purpose of the one man who exerted it. Thus arose monarchy in the world. In the nature of the case, the monarch was in the place of God.SITI January 13, 1904, page 3.8

    Facts of History.

    Nor is this mere theory; nor yet is it merely philosophy. It is fact—fact according to the records of the times in which this bad development occurred. For in the earliest records of the race, in totally and widely-separated places, such is the record. In earliest records in the plain of Shinar, the cradle of the race after the Flood, in every instance the ruler bears not the title of king, but of “viceroy” of the idol god, which is held to be truly king. These records reveal clearly that there had been a time when these same people recognized God as the only King and the true Ruler. These records also reveal the fact that these people had not yet gone so far in apostasy that the one in authority, the one who exercised rulership, could dare to assume positively the title of king. But the idol which had been put in the place of God could be made to bear God’s title of King and true Ruler; and then the man who would usurp the place and prerogative of God over men, could deftly insinuate himself as viceroy, vicegerent, or substitute, of the idol god who, in the figment of men, still bore the dignity and title of king.SITI January 13, 1904, page 20.1

    Such also is the record in earliest Assyria, in earliest Egypt, and even among our own ancient Anglo-Saxon progenitors. The persistence of the principle is illustrated in the conception of king in our own English language; for “among the English, at least, the kingly houses all claimed descent from the blood of the gods. Every king was a son of Woden.”SITI January 13, 1904, page 20.2

    Thus, by these widely separated and independent records, it is demonstrated that the concept of kingship in the human race was originally recognized as belonging only to God. And this so exclusively that when idols were put in the place of God (which idols were themselves nothing, but were in fact the reflection of the maker of the idols), this title must abide exclusively with the figment, which stood in the place of God.SITI January 13, 1904, page 20.3

    But as apostasy continued and the asserters of dominion and power over others became more bold, there came Nimrod, the one, and the first one, who was so bold as to take to himself from the idols the title and the prerogative of king, which by the makers of the idols had been taken from God and placed upon the idol. Because of this his impious boldness, the name of Nimrod signifies “rebellion, supercilious contempt,” and is equivalent to “the extremely impious rebel.”SITI January 13, 1904, page 20.4

    This is not to say that there should be no governments, nor is it to say that there should be no monarchy on earth. It is only to say that without such apostasy there never could have been monarchy. But when such apostasy had come, and consequent turbulence and violence prevailed, it was better that there should be even monarchy such as that of Nimrod, than that there should be no government at all, but only anarchy. It were better that there should be such government as that of Nimrod or of Nero, than that there should be none on earth. But apostasy must of necessity go a long way from true and original government—self-government with God—before there could be required such government as that of Nimrod or of Nero.SITI January 13, 1904, page 20.5

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